First and foremost, NEVER buy an English Bulldog from a pet store. I know many of us, including myself, have made this mistake in their life. Some of us were very lucky with a pretty healthy puppy, but many of us did not get so lucky.
I bet you are wondering WHY? Because no ethical breeder would sell their litter to a pet store. They want know where their puppies are, and that they have good homes. A good breeder likes to keep a relationship with their clients, after all, these are their "grandchildren".
Also, many dogs in pet stores come from puppy mills. A puppy mill is a breeding facility that houses too many dogs, they are kept in cages all day, bred too young and overbred, and usually pass down numerous genetic problems and diseases. It is always better to get your puppy from a breeder who will keep contact with you and help you throughout your and your puppy's life.
Puppy scams: Watch out!!!
English Bulldogs are the highest risk of puppy scamming. If you see an English Bulldog puppy for sale for $1000 or less, it is probably scam. These scammers are not dumb, they know just want to say to you to steal your money. Most scammers are from Nigeria and surrounding areas, so they will only talk to you over emails so you do not hear their broken language of English and their accents. See our forums for more known scams.
The next low man on the totem pole: Brokers.
A broker is a website that offers numerous puppies for sale. They are similar to pet stores, because they heavily advertise bulldogs for sale on the internet. Backyard breeders and puppy mills pay the broker to list their puppy for sale, and when the dog sells the broker gets a commission. Same reasons as above, no ethical breeder would sell their puppies in this fashion. There is probably even advertisements by Google here on our site for some of them! (I try to get rid of them but they find a way in sometimes).
Lets not forget the puppy importers who claim to be "breeders". There are breeders out there that do not even breed, they import litters from oversea's puppy mills. They tout on their web sites how they have "fabulous Euorpean bloodlines". I have personally fell victim to this scam, and ended up with a very unhealthy bulldog.
The "backyard breeder".
This is someone who will selfishly breed an English Bulldog just to try to make money, and do not do their homework prior to breeding. They breed unhealthy bulldogs who may have genetic problems and can be non-papered dogs. The puppies end up being unhealthy from lack of knowledge on caring for a litter of English Bulldogs. They usually sell these puppies for far less than an experienced breeder, but more than your typical scammer.
The "Rare" Breeder.
Anyone trying to sell "RARE" qualities in any breed, I don't care what breed it is, are only doing it to line their pockets and don't put health as their first and foremost quality. Stay away from "Rare" breeders, they are not trying to breed to standards and charge outrageous prices for their puppies.
All of the bad people (oh yeah, I said BAD PEOPLE!) I have listed above is what fills our rescues with English Bulldogs. The puppy ends up with problems and health issues so the owners get rid of it.
Speaking of Rescue, have you considered rescuing a bulldog? If there is a rescue in your area, this is a wonderful and heartwarming way to have a bulldog. Rescues need your help, and most have a very sucessful matching process to ensure these dogs will be in their permanent home. Many rescues also need foster homes! See our link for active Bulldog Rescues.
Please Consider Adoption as an Option! CLICK HERE TO VIEW ENGLISH BULLDOGS FOR ADOPTION!
If you do not qualify to adopt from a rescue, and are definately wanting a puppy, it is important to investigate the breeder you are thinking about buying from. It is also best that you choose your breeder within driving distance. Some puppies can be flown to your location, but the time of year and weather must be PERFECT, so this really only allows a few months a year without endangering the puppy. It is even better if you can fly to get your puppy and bring them on the plane with you. If you drive to get your puppy, not only do you get to meet the breeder and the dam, but you also get peice of mind knowing that you are not purchasing from a puppy mill, (if you are allowed to see their facility). Keep in mind that even puppy mills will have a nice place to "sell" their animals. They may keep the amimals in a place separate from their residence. Make sure you do a FULL INVESTIGATION on the internet before purchasing from a breeder.
DON'T HESITATE TO ASK QUESTIONS!
Write a list of questions to ask the breeder. Listen to their voice, and you should be able to tell if they even like bulldogs! Possible questions you could ask are:
- Can I have the name and number of your veterinarian? (Call the vet, find out if there has been any health issues- the breeder may have to give permission to disclose this information, but should have no reason not to)
Find out a little about the vet too!
- Do you show your dogs? (This would be important for proven bloodlines and if you are interested in a show quality dog)
- Do you get your sires and dams genetically tested, and if you do can you provide me with their AKC number so I can verify it?
- How many litters do you sell a year?
- Does the dog come with full AKC registration or with limited AKC registration? Limited registration means just that, you are limited on what you can do with regards to your dog. You cannot show a dog with limited registration nor can you register any pups you produce with that dog with AKC. Limited registration is to discourage breeding the dog. Usually reputable and responsible breeders will sell their pet quality pups with a limited AKC registration.
- Do you have the papers in hand? (scammers will tell you they have papers but promise to send them in the mail for some excuse like they have not gotten them from AKC yet or some false story)
- Do you carry a health guarantee? If so, what does it consist of?
- Do you vaccinate and deworm your puppies? Which vaccinations have they received?
- Are the puppies micro-chipped? If so, will you be able to scan them for me to match numbers before I leave?
- Make sure the breeder has their name as the backup contact on the microchip. Why? If for any reason your dog should eventually end up in rescue, then the rescue can contact the breeder.
Those are just some questions you can ask. Most important is that you are getting a healthy, happy puppy to bring home. If you purchase from a puppy mill or get a non-papered dog, chances are you will be spending a lot of money on vet bills, which would negate the cost of buying a more expensive English Bulldog from a breeder who does genetic testing and gives a health guarantee. These puppy mill dogs usually end up in rescue, because the owners cannot afford or take the time to keep up with their health problems. Trust me, our Sarah (purchased from a broker) costed more in prescription diet, vet bills, allergy shots, ect. than if I would have gotten her from a quality breeder who takes pride in their puppies.
Content and advice on reputable breeders and puppy buying tips contributed by SoCal Bulldog Rescue, High Desert- Bulldogs and Desert Sky Bulldogs.